Community Food Rescue’s Matching Tool Goes Mobile!

Available food runs

Picture this: you are a busy chef getting ready for this evening’s dinner service and see that you have unsold food to donate in the refrigerator. You are a farmer surveying your fields and know that the bumper crop of fresh lettuce is more than you will sell this week. You are a caterer on site setting up for a wedding and your client asks you to donate the leftovers. Now you can schedule a food run on the fly with Community Food Rescue’s free matching tool, using its new mobile app for Android and Apple smart phones.

Community Food Rescue launched its free matching web-based tool last fall so that food donor businesses can easily match their unsold food to food assistance organizations that provide food to clients who experience hunger. Matches are made based on the type and quantity of food offered, distance, and time available for pickup. Volunteer food runners are alerted to matches via email and text. The first volunteer to accept the run gets it.

Volunteer Food Runner Tasha gets ready to pick up food with her insulated bag. She can use CFR’s new mobile app to accept food runs on the fly.

“We’re excited to have the mobile app because we believe that this will make it even easier for donors to donate and volunteers to accept food runs on the fly,” explained Jackie DeCarlo, Executive Director of Manna Food Center, the agency that has spearheaded CFR as a collaborative, countywide food recovery network. “We call Community Food Rescue the Uber of food recovery. Now it truly is. Volunteers in the vicinity at the time of a match can accept a food run with the click of a button on their smart phone,” Jackie shared.

Chow Match, developed by Peninsula Food Runners, makes food recovery even easier.

The new mobile app, called Chow Match, is a companion to the web-based version developed by Peninsula Food Runners, a non-profit organization with its own food recovery program in the San Francisco Bay Area. Once users sign up online and complete a brief profile, they can use all of the mobile app functions. In addition to scheduling a food run on the fly, donors can use the mobile app to view active and past scheduled food runs, and cancel a run if needed.

Food recipient organizations and volunteers can also use the mobile app to view their active and past food runs. Once a food run is completed, donors and recipients can electronically sign their food run, indicating that that the food was donated and received in accordance with CFR food safety guidelines. All participants can now rate and comment on their food run experience via mobile app, similar to Yelp’s five star rating.

All participants rate their experience during a food run.

Current CFR network users can find Chow Match, the free mobile app, on Google Play for Android phones and on I-Tunes for I-Phones.They can also click on the Store icon in their CFR user account. For those not yet part of the CFR network, click HERE to sign up online, complete a brief profile, and then download the mobile app.

Whether you are crazy-busy with running your food business, commuting to work or school, or shuttling children to activities, now you help our neighbors by redistributing much needed food with the touch of a button.

Reposted with permission by Community Food Rescue

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